Superpowers, organized crime, and aerospace conglomerates clash in the race to provide the US Air Force with the sexiest possible new fighter plane. (Crowder also wrote Ambush at Osirak, 1988--not reviewed.) Hearst Avionics engineer Mark Muldoon was emotionally scarred years ago when he shot down an unidentified plane over Vietnam--only to find that it was an American aircraft. That incident has made him a firm backer of Hearst's latest bit of technowizardry--a compact supercomputer named JAWS. Installed in a fighter, JAWS is capable of deciphering radar returns well enough to tell a good plane from a bad plane before the pilot has to shoot. But before Mark can show his new toy to the Air Force, JAWS disappears. Teaming himself with pretty Hungaro-Japanese computer-programmer Niki Lazslo, Mark scours hotels in Dayton and Cincinnati, missing JAWS and his kidnappers by minutes. There's no time to spare. An intrigued Air Force purchasing team wants to see JAWS in action in a week. The FBI and the USAF office of special investigations join the hunt, jostling and bumping each other at every step. Despite everyone's best efforts, Ms. Lazslo winds up bound to a four-poster under the slavering gaze of a lustful and murderous Mafioso while JAWS seems to be headed for Russia. . . Humorless and ungainly technothriller.